What’s with the FASFA

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What’s with the FASFA

In America, student debt is a massive contributor to the lives of many

In America, student debt is a massive contributor to the lives of many

Photo by: Noah Holt

In America, student debt is a massive contributor to the lives of many

Photo by: Noah Holt

Photo by: Noah Holt

In America, student debt is a massive contributor to the lives of many

Noah Holt, Art Editor

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High school ending is always a worry for students, and whether or not someone knows what they’re going to do is a big concern. For a student wanting to go to college, then the amount of money involved is sure to be an issue for many. 

September 24th was a college fair for Jefferson City School District, and for those who may have missed the presentation, financial aid is a team effort. It involves affordability, investment, recognition and motivation. Simply put, it is not easy, but also not too difficult.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is completely free. Applying early is usually the best way to go, as most funds are first come, first served; meaning you have to be aware of all deadlines and requirements that can vary from school to school. The earliest that someone can complete and submit a FAFSA is October 1st and the required forms are:

  • Student’s Driver’s license and Social Security Card
  • Parent’s Social Security Card
  • W-2 and other records of money earned in the year prior
  • 2018 federal income tax returns
  • Records of untaxed income
  • Current bank statements

You have to pay attention to a specific equation when it comes to looking for the cost of financial aid. Simply do attendance minus the expected family contribution. The number from that represents your need for financial assistance and influences the need-based financial aid you are eligible to receive. 

Though watch out, because when filling out the FAFSA there are a lot of common errors: 

  • Failure to add student and/or parent FSA ID
  • Parent and student Social Security Numbers
  • Divorced/remarried parental information
  • Income earned by parents/step-parents
  • Untaxed income
  • U.S. income taxes paid 
  • Household size

Finally, of course, the thing every student is wondering about, scholarships and grants. Luckily, the main perk of the FAFSA is that it basically tells you what grants and scholarships you are eligible for. The things that scholarships and grants take into account are GPA, ACT scores, and SAT scores. These factors will impact your eligibility for grants such as the Pell Grant and the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant.

As a student, it is the responsibility of you and your parent/guardian to get this all filled out, but also be cautious as this free process is going to be a bit time-consuming. But all in all, this is a worthwhile investment in your future.